Officer admits involvement in illegal stops, shakedowns
PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — Another member of a northern New Jersey city’s police force has admitted stealing money during illegal traffic stops and shakedowns and then falsifying reports.
Paterson Officer Matthew Torres faces up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights and filing a false police report.
Authorities say the 30-year-old Torres and other officers illegally stopped individuals and vehicles in Paterson and stole money from the people they stopped. They say the officers sometimes used fake paperwork to trick individuals into believing that the cash seizures and vehicle stops represented legitimate law enforcement encounters.
Torres is the second officer to admit being part of the shakedowns, while two others are also charged. Two other Paterson officers have admitted to other crimes.